Today I want to talk about something that is important to me.
March is colon cancer awareness month. Both my bother and good friend were diagnosed with colon cancer in their 30’s, which is why it’s so important to me.
The following is an article I wrote two years ago for another blog I had at the time, and wanted to share:
So I had to write some kind of blog title that would get your attention, instead of “March is colon cancer awareness month.” Seemed kind of boring eh?
But the fact is, I’m pretty passionate about reminding people that your ass is something you need to take seriously, and screening for colon cancer is the best way to protect yourself.
I have a personal relationship with the disease.
When my brother was 36, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He had countless surgeries, grueling chemotherapy, and a couple close calls when his bowels became obstructed. But I’m happy to say he’s doing much better today!
The video I made in 2005 about his story:
Then, a couple of years ago my good friend L was diagnosed with the same disease (also stage 4). I believe she was 38 when she was diagnosed, and unfortunately her disease was very advanced, and she passed away after a very brave battle just over a year ago.
Although they were much younger and would have probably had no reason to get screened for colon cancer, it’s imperative that you know your risks and/or get screened immediately if you have any unusual symptoms that you are concerned about. You are your own advocate when it comes to your health, so if one doctor tells you, “oh it’s nothing” and you are still concerned, find another doctor!
People who are diagnosed at early stages have over a 90 percent chance of a cure and surviving. In contrast, people that have advanced stages of colorectal cancer have a lower chance of a cure; less than 10 percent will be alive in five years after the diagnosis. Therefore, it makes good sense to get screened for colorectal cancer.
Because I have a close relative under the age of 40 that had colon cancer, I too have to get screenings every five years for the rest of my life.
I’ve had two so far, and even though the “prep” for the test isn’t very fun (but hey you get to catch up on all your reading while you spend quality time in the bathroom), the actual procedure is a piece of cake, and if you ask me, you can’t put a price on your health or peace of mind. It’s not worth it to let scary symptoms go just because you are afraid of the test.
For more information about colon cancer screenings, visit this website.